Every time one of your mobile workers interacts with a customer—whether it’s good, bad, or forgettable—your brand takes shape. These days, with so many ways to differentiate products and services, the customer experience becomes your brand.
With so much riding on the customer experience, how do you get your mobile teams to provide high-quality service at every interaction? Start by putting the right tools in the hands of your greatest assets: your employees.
What Makes Your Customers Happy?
Your customers’ expectations will depend on the type of service you provide and the value they’re looking for. Customer surveys, employee feedback, and similar tools can help you understand what customers in your specific industry and geography want from your company.
However, there are a few customer expectations that are consistent across the board, especially for companies with mobile teams delivering on-site services. Think about the following customer needs and how you can address them with your own workforce:
Customers Want to Know When You’ll Arrive
No one wants to wait for the cable guy all afternoon. Customers are looking for a better service experience, and that means knowing when to expect someone at the door. Giving customers a specific time to expect a mobile worker—and providing proactive updates if anyone runs behind—provides peace of mind that sets you apart from the competition.
What you can do: Leave “estimated service windows” in the past, and invest in the ability to set precise appointment times. A strong mobile workforce management system can account for travel time, other appointments, employee schedules, and more to provide specific appointment times.
Customers Want Proactive Updates
If something is going wrong or someone is behind schedule, customers want to know about it! In our consumer-focused business environment, proactive engagement is the norm—both online and in-person.
What you can do: Equip your mobile workers to provide proactive status updates to customers. Make it easy for your workers—as easy as pushing a button on their smartphone—to send a status update back to the office or directly to the customer. Especially for workers who visit multiple customer locations in a day, this is a huge relief for customers who are otherwise left waiting and wondering.
If it’s not possible for your mobile workers to reach customers directly, consider other ways to provide status updates. With a mobile workforce management system, managers can see when an employee checked into a job, when they marked it as complete, and where they are headed next. Armed with this real-time information, managers and back-office administrators can provide appointment updates to customers.
Customers Want Flexibility
These days, rigid rules about products and services can be off-putting. Customers want service representatives who can be flexible and adapt to their needs on the fly. Consider this: your employees may be constrained by company policy or practice, but your customers do not know, and feel not concern for, your internal constraints.
One example of this practice in action is the Ritz-Carlton customer service strategy. Each Ritz-Carlton employee can spend up to $2,000 to rectify a customer issue without prior approval from management. This size of a fund isn’t possible—or even necessary—at every company, but the principle is the same: empower employees to solve customer issues without too much extra hassle.
What you can do: Build in flexibility where you can. Give your mobile employees the power to offer rebates, refunds, additional services, rescheduled appointments, or other perks that make sense for your business and your customer base. Make sure your entire workforce understands when and how to offer these incentives to solve a customer issue.
If regulations or other rules don’t allow for flexibility, there are still ways to improve how you address customer issues. With the right mobile workforce management system, you can:
- Track customer interactions and note potential issues.
- Review customer information and anticipate problems before they occur.
- Contact management from the field and get quick approval.
Customers Want a Seamless Experience
Customers are looking for a smooth, user-friendly experience, no matter the circumstances. They want the same experience from a request submitted online, via email, over the phone, or in person. They expect the same level of service in a remote area as they would in a city. And it doesn’t matter to the customer whether they are working with your contractors or employees. They are equal representatives of your brand in the customer’s’ eyes.
What you can do: Make sure your tools are designed to provide this seamless experience. This seems like an amorphous goal, but there are some practical steps you can take:
- Treat customer requests from every channel–online, via phone, and in person–the same, and make sure they flow into the same job queue.
- Give your mobile workers the tools to operate in any area they are expected to visit customers. If you use a mobile workforce management tool, make sure it has offline capabilities that keep your service going when reception is spotty.
- Make sure your contractors have the same chance for success that your full-time employees do. If you need to restrict certain customer information to employees, use a mobile workforce management tool that can organize these types of information and set permission levels.
Use Your Customer Service to Your Advantage
Customers have power, perhaps more so than any other point in history. Whether it’s influencing brands via social media or trying out a competitor after a bad service experience, customers know their business has value. A great customer experience is a powerful way to stand out in the marketplace.
Download our eBook How to Make the Customer Experience a Competitive Advantage for Your Business to learn more about how the customer journey can set you apart from other companies.